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Astroturfers Revisited

Good piece (video) by Jon Ronson about astroturfing: Esc and Ctrl: Jon Ronson investigates astroturfing – video In the second part of Jon Ronson’s series about the struggle for control of the internet, he looks at online astroturfing – when unpopular institutions post fake blogs to seem more favourable. He meets the former vice president of corporate communications for US healthcare company Cigna, who confirms his involvement in this kind of activity He talks about the “death panels”: the Cigna whistleblower, Wendell Potter [Wikipedia] tells him that the company created lots of fake blogs and groups, all of which have since disappeared, including from archive.org,Continue readingAstroturfers Revisited

Discerning Porn Merchants And Rogue Dialers

Malaysia is feeling the heat from the rogue dialer, or Internet dumping, scammers. The Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said on Wednesday in TechCentral that most of the victims had been unwittingly downloading the offending software while surfing porn sites: “Since it occurs mostly on adult and entertainment sites, we would like to urge users to be more discerning when accessing these sites as it may result in high IDD (international direct dial) call charges,” said Adelina Iskandar, head of corporate communications at MCMC. I rather like the idea of trying to be more discerning while surfing for porn. I suspect that by the timeContinue readingDiscerning Porn Merchants And Rogue Dialers

Banks, Phishing And A Dereliction Of Responsibility

Online commerce suffers from one major flaw: It’s online. That means we need to use computers (or computer-like devices, such as cellphones). It means we need to use the Internet. Together this is a lethal cocktail. And for online banking, it just may mean it is fatal. Online banking, for example, is not like using an ATM. Or a credit card. Or a cheque. Or even cash. All these types of transaction are vulnerable to fraud but they are relatively easy to protect yourself against. If you lend your credit card, cheque book or ATM card to strangers then you are probably not taking theContinue readingBanks, Phishing And A Dereliction Of Responsibility

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